You could say that a meal at Sitka and Spruce is kind of like a snowflake: no two are exactly alike and they are beautiful in their own unique ways.
Everything about this place is great. I love how small it is, the communal table – very Montage (a la Portland) but the food here is in an entirely different realm (casual-sophisticate) and the room has a much calmer ambiance – no Rainier pounders here; the color of the walls, the unusual and unassuming location and most of all… the newness of the food; meaning freshness and what spectacular flavor combinations!
I was at Sitka & Spruce for dinner a few months back with a pair of friends, and it’s important to note, their two-year old little boy, who was treated like a king by our server. This is the type of place that could very easily have an unspoken ‘no-kids’ kind of rule, but we were treated very well, and when the little guy got crazy from sitting still for too long, I took him outside to run laps up and down the sidewalk.
The food here is fresh, fresh, FRESH and simple, but not the ‘dumb’ kind of simple. You walk out of this place asking yourself, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’ No worries, because Chef Matt Dillon did the thinking for you. We ordered about six dishes that first time, including this wonderfully simple salad of greens, marcona almonds and lemons, (I want to say) a lamb ragout/Bolognese-style pasta dish, and a venison pate, among other uniquely delicious dishes. Having grown up in the wilds of Northern Minnesota with a deer-huntin’ Daddy, I never thought of venison as something other than stew meat. (And my Daddy knew how to cook a mean venison stew, don’t get me wrong.) Chef Matt Dillon put venison into a whole new category of goodness for me.
My latest meal was lunch with co-workers just last week. It’s the best mid-day meal I’ve had in months, if not years, and yes, that’s right, it was less expensive than most restaurant lunches I’ve eaten. I understand that there are some people out there who think the portions are on the paltry side, but, as I’ve always said, “Quality trumps quantity.” And quality is what Sitka and Spruce is all about.
For lunch, I had a beautiful, savory, duck-stuffed crepe, drizzled with what I assume to have been a reduced aged-Balsamic, accompanied by a wild/crazy salad of greens that you don’t find in most restaurants, meaning that they didn’t come from a bag. I felt like someone foraged for those salad greens, just for me. One of my lunch companions ordered salmon that was cooked PERFECTLY skin-side down (she didn’t eat the skin, so I ate it for her) served over oranges and avocado; the other ordered a romano-style gnocchi, which came out in the surprising form of a triangular cake. Wow – so good and unexpected!
I find much better luck getting a table without waiting during lunchtime than at dinner time, and the food is just as good. I know that Matt didn’t prepare my meal this last time, however, as I saw him working with his various purveyors, carrying in rhubarb, farm-fresh veggies and what were either goats or lambs. I should have gone back in for dinner that night, as what I saw being brought in were among my favorite foods. I’m still kicking myself… but I’ll be back next week, and the next week and…
The only thing better than a delicious meal is a delicious meal that is pretty to look at. And if you want to get picky, then a delicious and pretty meal is made even better by it being crafted from local ingredients that are lovingly grown and raised and then cooked up by a man who gives a damn about good food.over 6 years ago